October 05, 2020
CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ Launches Social Justice Fellowship to Advance Racial Equity
Largest business coalition aimed at advancing racial equity through public policy

NEW YORK, OCTOBER 5, 2020 – Today, CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ (CEO Action), the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace, is announcing the launch of CEO Action for Racial Equity, a fellowship that provides the opportunity for CEO Action signatories to advance racial equity through public policy.

A recent survey noted that 71% of Americans place more trust in companies to respond to racial injustice than in the government (36%). Leveraging CEO Action’s platform, the coalition is activating its 1,300+ signatory base to collaborate and advance social justice through public policy together.

CNO Financial Group has supported CEO Action since its founding in 2018 and is proud to commit to the fellowship program. The company joins nearly 250 fellows, representing more than 100 CEO Action signatory organizations, will work together to identify, develop and promote scalable and sustainable public policies and corporate engagement strategies that will address systemic racism, social injustice and improve societal well-being.  Fellows will focus their efforts on four key areas of societal well-being: education, healthcare, public safety and economic empowerment. Additional fellows will join as the program gets underway.

It is overseen and governed by the CEO Action for Racial Equity Governing Committee, a group of 20 CEOs representing multiple industries and regions.  Gary C. Bhojwani, chief executive officer of CNO Financial Group, Inc., is one of the Governing Committee members committed to driving change.

“The CEO Action fellowship is the largest business coalition to address racial equity through a policy lens,” said Bhojwani. “The purpose and approach are unlike anything I have ever seen, and CNO is proud to play a leading role in the program. By combining our diverse workforce talent across the country, we can make a larger impact to make meaningful change in addressing social injustice.”

To help lead the day-to-day leadership, strategy and operations, PwC and MassMutual have contributed leaders: Roy Weathers, PwC Vice Chair, Societal Engagement and Policy Solutions will serve as the Chief Executive Officer; Pia Flanagan, chief of staff to the CEO at MassMutual, will serve as the Chief Operating Officer; and Roz Brooks, PwC US’ Policy Leader will serve as the Policy Lead in addition to her role at the firm.

“CEO Action has always been driven by the belief that when businesses work collectively to drive progress, we can truly harness lasting change,” said Weathers, CEO Action for Racial Equity CEO. “The systemic racial injustice across our country has disproportionately impacted Black Americans and it is what is pushing us to do more. Now is the time to use our collective talent, passion and diverse perspectives to advance societal systemic change and improve equitable opportunities.”

The establishment of the fellowship comes on the heels of a commitment from PwC US Chair and Senior Partner and CEO Action steering committee chair Tim Ryan’s announcement in June of six commitments to address racism in society, one of which was to launch a public policy fellowship to address social injustice alongside fellow CEOs who were seeking to make a change.

The CEO Action for Racial Equity Governing Committee includes:

  • John Rogers, Chairman, Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer, Ariel Investments
  • Joe Davis, Chairman, North America, BCG
  • Mike Mahoney, Chairman & CEO, Boston Scientific Corporation
  • Gary C. Bhojwani, CEO, CNO Financial Group, Inc.
  • John Miller, CEO, Denny’s 
  • Russell Dubner, President & CEO, U.S., Edelman
  • Charles Meyers, President & CEO, Equinix
  • Tim Wentworth, President, Express Scripts and Cigna Services
  • Kelly Grier, US Chair and Managing Partner; Americas Managing Partner, EY
  • James Rhee, CEO & Founder, FirePine Group
  • Cid Wilson, President & CEO, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
  • Enrique Lores, President & CEO, HP
  • Marianne Harrison, President & CEO, John Hancock
  • Jeff Gennette, Chairman & CEO, Macy’s
  • Roger Crandall, Chairman, President & CEO, Mass Mutual
  • David Taylor, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, P&G
  • Robert Lynch, President & CEO, Papa John’s
  • Tim Ryan, Senior Partner and Chair, PwC and Steering Committee Chair, CEO Action
  • Christopher J. Swift, Chairman & CEO, The Hartford
  • Wayne Peacock, President & CEO, USAA

For a full list of signatory fellowship participants or more information on how to become a signatory, visit ceoaction.com/racial-equity.

 

# # #

 

About CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Bringing together more than 1,300 CEOs and presidents of America’s leading businesses, academic institutions and nonprofits representing more than 13 million employees, the commitment outlines actions that participating organizations pledge to take to cultivate a workplace where diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected, employees feel comfortable and encouraged to discuss diversity and inclusion, and where best known—and unsuccessful—actions can be shared across organizations. Learn more at CEOAction.com and connect with us on Twitter: @CEOAction.